Installation Impressions

The HAF X is a pleasure to work with. It's equally spacious and well-rounded as the original HAF 932. That said, it does do some things exceptionally well -- especially cooling. When installing our gaming hardware, we saw no need to alter the cooling setup in anyway.

The HAF X also excels in cable management and we found it extremely easy to keep things tidy with the holes in the motherboard tray.

It's worth noting that the right case door has a bulge for extra wide connectors and cables to be stored, and there are tabs on the motherboard tray for cable ties.

To be perfectly honest, we found no problems with the HAF X's layout. Being such a large case, it easily accommodated our gaming components and the same should be true for tomorrow's enthusiast hardware.

We installed the following: Thermaltake Toughpower XT 875w PSU, Asus Crosshair IV Formula motherboard, 4GB OCZ memory, AMD Phenom II X6 1090T processor, Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus cooler, three AMD Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards, two 1TB Samsung hard drives, one OCZ Vertex LE 100GB and one Vertex 2 Pro 100GB SSD.

The HAF X supports EATX (extended ATX), so motherboards as tall as 13" will fit comfortably. The case comes with standard mounting screws that you must install for your motherboard.

Despite lacking a removable motherboard tray, we had no problem installing the Asus Crosshair IV Formula. Furthermore, with rear access to the motherboards CPU socket, we were easily able to install the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus cooler with the motherboard inserted.

Both the AMD Radeon HD 5870 and 5970 fit with room to spare. The HAF as proven to be an ideal computer case for extreme gamers as it can easily house a number of high-end graphics cards. As noted, we installed three Radeon HD 5870s and a fourth would be possible.

The hot-swappable drive bays are one of our favorite features as they make it incredibly easy to install disk drives. Once the drive bays are connected to the motherboard, you never need to touch another SATA data or power cable again. Our only gripe is that just two of the bays have this feature.

To use the front I/O panel's USB 3.0 connectors, you have to run the blue USB 3.0 cables through one of the water cooling holes or an expansion slot. While on the subject of front panel connectors, we were happy that Cooler Master used black cables for the USB 2.0 ports as well as the front panel audio. This helps them blend in with the black paint throughout the HAF X design.